Rottweiler Dog Breed

With a powerful build, sharp guarding instincts and a strong sense of loyalty, the Rottweiler has gained a reputation as a tough and burly breed. But with proper socialisation and care, these dogs make loving family members, and have grown in popularity. They’ve also found new roles as guide and therapy dogs, further demonstrating that the Rottweiler is indeed a gentle giant.

Rottweiler Facts

The Rottweiler has become a popular pet, known for their formidable size. For reference, the average Rottweiler weight can reach over 60kgs!

  • Breed Group: Working
  • Height: Female: 55-63.5 cm, Male: 61-68.5 cm
  • Weight: Female: 36-45 kg, Male: 43-61 kg
  • Life Span: 9-10 years
  • Coat: Medium-length coarse coat
  • Colour: Black with rust, mahogany or tan-coloured markings


Breed Characteristics

Exercise needs
Health issues
Medium Medium
Barking tendencies
Grooming needs
Shedding level

What Does a Rottweiler Look Like?

The Rottweiler was bred for hard work, and everything—from the dog’s size to their strong features—speaks to this. They are large breed dogs, as Rottweiler weight averages 36-45 kg for females and 43-61 kg for males, and Rottweiler height averages 55-63.5 cm for females and 61-68.5 cm for males. Males typically are more massive, larger framed and taller than females.

The Rottweiler has a distinctive broad, squarish head and thick neck. When the dog is alert, you might notice a slight wrinkling on the forehead. The bridge of the muzzle is straight and broad at the base, as is the nose. They also boast a well-developed chin and powerful jaws.

The Rottweiler’s brown, almond-shaped eyes hold an expression that breed lovers describe as noble, alert and confident. The medium-sized, triangle-shaped ears hang but become level with the skull when the dog is attentive.

Rottweilers trot with a balanced, effortless gait propelled by angular, muscular hind legs. The front legs are straight and heavy-boned. The chest is broad and deep, the forechest (located at the front of the legs and viewable from the profile) is well-developed, the ribs are rounded and the back is straight and strong. The naturally strong tail is carried upward in a slight curve when the dog is alert.

Another quick way to distinguish a Rottweiler dog is by the coat. Its base colour is black with rust- to mahogany-coloured markings located over each eye, the cheeks, around each side of the muzzle, on the throat, the chest and the front legs, inside of the rear legs, under the tail and on the large toes. The Rottweiler’s medium-length outer coat is coarse and dense, with a softer undercoat that can be grey, tan or black.



Breed Facts

Breed group:
Female: 55-53.5 cm, Male: 61-68.5 cm
Female: 36-45 kg, Male: 43-61 kg
Life span:
9-10 years
Medium-length coarse coat
Black with rust, mahogany or tan coloured markings

Rottweiler Temperament: Calm & Corageous

A well-bred Rottweiler is a calm, courageous and confident dog, with an aloof attitude that may be off-putting to strangers. To their trusted human family members, this pup may be a silly clown, eager to play while ready to protect from any perceived danger. Despite their size, your Rottweiler may yearn to be a lap dog and squeeze as much of themselves onto your lap as possible. In fact, some Rotties become so attached to their people that separation anxiety develops.

This intelligent and extremely protective dog needs a strong, firm hand. The breed has retained their guardian roots and can be very protective of family and property, but properly socialised Rottweilers can be good family dogs.

Most Rotties are heavier today and no longer have the stamina or inclination for nonstop exercise. When properly introduced, they get along well with other dogs and cats. However, some Rottweiler dogs especially are aggressive toward dogs of the same sex and smaller animals. And don’t let their grunt-grumble “talking” be mistaken for growling; many Rotties express themselves with these happy sounds.

Keeping Rottweilers Healthy: 5 Issues to Watch Out For

The average Rottweiler life span is 9-10 years, depending on the dog’s health, and Rotties are prone to certain diseases that pet parents should be aware of. Your best chance at avoiding Rottweiler health issues is to purchase a puppy from an ethical, professional breeder who has papers to show that the dogs they breed are free of genetic disease. If you choose to adopt, be sure to get as much medical history as the rescue organisation is able to provide.

Joint Dysplasias:

Joint dysplasia is a disease that affects growing joints and predisposes Rottweilers to early onset arthritis and joint problems. Rottweilers are known to develop several dysplasias, including Rottweiler hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and osteochondritis dissecans (OCD).

Aortic Stenosis:

Aortic stenosis is a genetic condition where the aorta, the main artery that carries blood away from the heart to the rest of the body, is too narrow. Aortic stenosis can cause a heart murmur, weakness and difficulty breathing. Affected dogs should not be bred. Moderate to severe cases of aortic stenosis are treated with medication and surgery.


Ectropion is a condition where the eyelid rolls outward, causing irritation, dryness and damage to the eyeball and conjunctiva (the tissues surrounding the eye). Treatment is surgical.


Entropion is a condition where the eyelid rolls inward, causing irritation to the eyeball from eyelashes rubbing on the surface. In severe cases, entropion can cause a corneal ulcer. Treatment is surgical.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Problems:

In Rottweilers, the ACL in the knee is known to tear and cause severe hindlimb lameness. The exact cause is unknown, but genetics, ligament laxity, conformation and obesity are thought to play a role. A torn ACL creates instability in the joint and predisposes the joint to early onset osteoarthritis, pain and loss of mobility. Surgical treatment is available and recommended early to avoid development of osteoarthritis.

Caring for Your Rottweiler Dog

Rottweilers are loyal, loving family dogs who need daily interaction with their people, moderate exercise and good nutrition.


Do Rottweilers shed? Rottweilers have a double coat and are moderate year-round shedders, with heavier shedding taking place in autumn and spring. To reduce shedding, brush your Rottie once or twice each week, and daily when they are losing their undercoat. Using a deshedding tool or rake can reduce shedding. Bathing a Rottweiler is not recommended more than once a month, and shaving a Rottweiler is not recommended at all. However regular nail trimming and brushing of teeth is important.


Nutrition is an important building block of any Rottweiler’s health. Obesity can be a problem in this breed, leading to secondary problems such as osteoarthritis, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. So be sure to ask your veterinarian what is a healthy weight for your particular dog.

The best dog food for Rottweiler dogs is a complete and balanced large-breed dog food. Breed-specific dog food, like Royal Canin Rottweiler Adult Dry Dog Food, is formulated to support the nutritional needs of Rottweilers. Otherwise, a large-breed dog food, like Royal Canin Adult Maxi Dry Dog Food is a good choice.

It is crucial to not overfeed Rottweiler puppies, because obesity can predispose pups to health problems. Feed an appropriate amount of large-breed puppy food, like Royal Canin Rottweiler Dry Puppy Food. Use the feeding chart on the bag as a guide or ask your veterinarian how much to feed your puppy.

Royal Canin Rottweiler


    Rottweilers are moderately active dogs. At least 30 minutes of exercise, whether brisk walking, running or a game of fetch, is recommended for healthy adult dogs. Some Rottweilers love water, and swimming is an excellent low-impact exercise. Rottweiler puppies are not good jogging partners. They should be fully grown (about 15 months old) before engaging in vigorous exercise to allow their bones and joints to grow normally. Chewing is an important mental exercise that can be supported by giving your Rottweiler chew toys, which promote healthy chewing and mental stimulation. Invest in a good quality harness and lead such as these from the Ezydog range.

    Training Your Rottweiler

    Rottweiler training is relatively easy once you have won your pup’s trust. This cautious breed considers everything carefully before committing to anything—play, friendship or training. Once your Rottweiler figures out that training is fun, they’ll be an eager pupil who excels at a variety of canine activities.

    The Rottie respects authority from experienced trainers and offers obedience naturally without throwing “temper tantrums” common in some young dogs. Early obedience training is ideal, with positive reinforcement techniques working exceptionally well. Chew-toy rewards are a hit with Rottweilers—just be sure they can stand up to the dog’s powerful jaws! Toys for extreme chewers may need to be considered.

    Because the Rottweiler is naturally reserved in new situations, early socialisation helps better prepare these dogs to feel comfortable around strangers and trips to the veterinarian or the dog park. These smart dogs learn quickly from positive experiences, as well as scary or negative ones.

    Poorly socialised or trained dogs are much more at risk for developing aggressive behaviours. High demand for this breed has created poorly bred dogs who tend toward aggression and fear-biting. But well-trained Rottweilers excel at obedience competitions and enjoy flyball and other dog-play activities. They also do well with scenting discrimination training and are employed as K-9 officers in some police departments.

    Rottweilers can make a steadfast companion to potential pet parents who properly train and socialise their pup. Those who look past the Rottweiler’s sometimes negative reputation will find a dog who exudes loyalty, gentleness and warmth.

    Top picks for your Rottweiler